Friday, July 27, 2012

We've Moved!

Motherhood and Miscellany has moved.  You can now find us at: 

Eventually I hope to have an automatic redirect from this page to that one, but for now, you can get there by clicking here.  Thanks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Change is Coming

I have finally decided to take the big step.

Motherhood and Miscellany is moving.  I am working on getting my own domain and switching to Wordpress.  I've been debating this for a while, and am finally going to do it.
She calls these her "Gobbles" 

What does all of that mean exactly?  Well, not much really.  The blog will still have the same name, but the URL will no longer include "blogspot" because I won't be using Blogger anymore.  I will still have Motherhood and Miscellany's Facebook page, where you can follow and get post updates.  I will have a somewhat different, but similar, design for the blog, and hopefully it will be more user friendly.  I should have it set up so that if you come to this site by accident, you'll automatically get routed to the new page.  I'm transferring all my content.  So, that's about it.  I think it will be good.

I'm not exactly sure when I will start posting on the new site, but I'll let you know.

Change is good.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Making Memories

We were in recovery mode today.  Yesterday we partied hard with our friends.  This statement takes on a whole new, yet still quite accurate meaning when you consider that "we" is in reference to four adults with our six children under five getting together for a fun evening of grilling, trampolining, swinging (on the swing set), running, sandbox-ing, exploring, chasing, and s'mores eating, with grown up conversation in between.  The three "little kids" (under 2) went to bed after s'mores and the three "big" kids (3 and 4) got in jammies and stayed up to watch Snow White while the adults visited around the fire pit.  My husband and my friend's husband had spent what seemed like an hour getting that fire started.  They didn't use a lighter or any matches.  Just some old-fashioned cave-man fire-starting stuff.  I was literally on my way to get the lighter (because it was way past time for s'mores!!) when I saw smoke finally rising from our fire pit.  The manly men prevailed, and it was good.

We had a wonderful time with friends.  The kids all got sufficiently sweaty and dirty and scraped up to consider it a true summertime playing extravaganza.  They explored our "woods" (treed area around the perimeter of our yard) and jumped themselves silly on our new trampoline.  My husband, hero of the evening, played a new game with them, which involved getting on his hands and feet under the trampoline and chasing the kids by pushing his butt up into the trampoline from the underside while running around bear-crawl style.  I wish I had seen this and gotten a photo.  I heard the laughter and screaming of the kids, but I was putting Sis to bed while this was going on.  So I, like you, have only a (very hilarious) mental image of these antics to go by.  Oh how I love that man. 

Needless to say, we were all feeling a little worn out today.  Incredibly, the girls only slept in a little bit past their usual wake up times, so they were pretty tired and crabby today.  We got lots of good down time in though.  Nothing like being pooped to bring a family together for some serious bonding.  The girls made breakfast with their Daddy.  

They love helping him cook eggs.  They work the pepper mill and really get into pinching and sprinkling the salt from my salt pig.

We read lots of books and just relaxed.

This afternoon we went outside for more backyard fun.  I love watching the big girls run and play in the yard.  They go on "adventures" and make up scenarios involving monsters and giants and castles and rescue missions.  We got them sufficiently tuckered out again this evening.  

This is the stuff of memories.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thumb Sucker

Someone discovered something new yesterday.

Oh. my. goodness.  None of my girls have ever been interested in a binkie.  I have heard people say that you really don't want your baby to be a thumb sucker, because it can be so much harder to get her to stop when she's older.  But this is so cute, I can't bring myself to mind one bit.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I love to watch my girls pretend.  Their little imaginations are so funny and amazing and beautiful.  They take their favorite parts of their favorite stories and mix them all up to make a whole new story.  They play off of each other and come up with entirely new scenarios.  I can't get enough of it.  

It helps that recently I scored a few great dress-up bargains for them.  Our at-home dress up was kind of pitiful, so I found one princess dress at an online consignment shop (with a 40% off coupon too!), got a bag full of three other outfits plus jewelry from Craigslist for cheap, pulled out an old flower girl dress, and presto!  We have dress up.

True to their personalities, Miss changes from one outfit to another, depending on what she's doing.

While Lass finds one outfit and stays with it.  She may change her accessories, but she's not giving up that green Tinkerbell outfit, which she calls her "fit" (outfit).  She puts it on and beams, "I Wedda!" (I'm Cinderella!)

They try to dress up Sis too so she won't feel left out.

We have been tea-partying like crazy here.  Miss always insists on putting on the purple dress for the tea parties.

We have lots of "Cheers!" and pinkies out and all that.

Sis is loving her Bumbo, which allows her to be part of the action.

I love to see how the girls interpret the stories they read and see in videos.  At one point Miss was pretending that the Evil Queen had stolen Snow White's voice (like Ursula does to Ariel).  She has started having lots of fun with trying to get us to read her lips.  Today at lunch she said, "Momma, do you know what I'm saying?" and she kept mouthing the same thing over and over, in a really exaggerated way.  I really tried, but I had no idea what it was.  Finally she sighed and said, "Mom, I was saying 'Casey Jones'!!" As in the train from the Dumbo book.  Oh.  Duh.

They love to have me be the Evil Queen and act out the poisoned apple scene.  Here they were running away from me as Evil Queen.

I "convinced" Miss to taste the poisoned apple.

She fell dramatically to the floor.

Then she called to her sister, "Come on and kiss me so I can wake up!"

They did this over and over.  They make me laugh.

Of course, we don't only play Princess.  We play Chef and Mommy and today they were Doctors.

Lass loves to hold the play stethoscope up to my leg (or arm or nose) and say, "Momma you sick!"

I laugh a lot these days.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Never Say Never - Thoughts on Homeschooling

Well.  I never thought I would be writing this post.  Though I suppose I should know by now that I ought not say I will never do something as a parent if I don't know a whole lot about what that thing is.  That thing in this case is homeschooling. 

I have historically had the typical concerns about homeschooling.  "Don't homeschooled kids miss out so much on school experiences?"  "How can they be socialized?" And so forth.  My husband has at times suggested that we consider homeschooling, but I have resisted for these reasons.  Then recently I had a conversation with one of my brothers in law and his wife.  She is a teacher in 6th grade and he was telling me about what wonderful experiences she has had with homeschooled kids when they come into traditional school.  The conversation went on from there, and I'll spare you the details, but it started me thinking.  And asking.  And reading.  And it turns out homeschool is way more than I thought it was.

So, what really prompted me to think I might want to homeschool our kids?  This:

 We watched lots of princess movies with Grandma, which sparked some awesome pretending.

And lots of other stuff I have posted about in the past few weeks as we have been traveling.  The photos in this post are from some of the other fun experiences (in addition to those I've already written about) my girls had while visiting my parents.  See, we don't have any family living near us.  The closest family member is about a five and a half hour drive away, which is a little far for frequent weekend trips, and my parents live 10 hours from us.  My girls get so much from visiting with our families.  They get experiences at my parents' house and at the Farm and in Iowa that could never be matched by the experiences they would get in a conventional school.  Not even close.  My husband is fortunate to have quite a bit of time off from his job, which allows us to visit the people we love.  The people my girls need to know and make memories with.  So, we travel.  But traditional schooling would put an abrupt stop to that as soon as Miss begins Kindergarten.  The more I think about it, I'm just not willing to trade in the flexibility to travel and let me girls know their heritage and all the other things they can and do learn from our trips for conventional schooling.  I would if I thought that traditional school offered something truly valuable that they couldn't get through homeschooling.  I used to think that it did.  But I'm learning that that's not the case.  

Don't get me wrong.  I have absolutely nothing against traditional schools.  I'm not saying that homeschooling is necessarily better than regular schools.  I'm just saying that I have begun to realize that it is better for us.  I contacted another blogging mom, Katrina from They All Call Me Mom, to ask her about her experiences with homeschooling her kids (she has nine).  She was so helpful and gave me some great tips.  In fact, everyone I have contacted with questions about homeschooling has been exceptionally warm and kind and informative.  I have been able to find some local groups that I think will fit with the type of homeschooling I would like to do.  I'm reading some good books (right now I'm really enjoying "The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling" by Rachel Gathercole).  Essentially, I have reached the point where I feel confident that when the time comes for Miss to start Kindergarten, she'll stay home with me instead.  It's pretty exciting, actually.  

I have a lot to learn.  And a lot to teach.  But that's what moms do all day every day anyway, right?